#AceWorldNews – July 03 – Sunni ISIS jihadists are recruiting children as young as 10 years old to fight for an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria. While there are boys who voluntarily join the ISIS, there are many more who are being forced to fight for jihad.
A 10-year old boy called Abdullah is the youngest known volunteer fighting with the ISIS in Iraq’s Mosul, according to The Daily Beast. It describes the moment of Abdullah casually walking into a local grocery store. This would be a common picture, except that the boy was masked and had a heavy machine gun, “about as big as him.”
Abdullah is reportedly hopeful about the prospects for the ISIS.
“We believe they will conquer all of Iraq and Persia and that they will liberate Jerusalem,” a gunman, who the news website assumed was responsible for the boy, said. “They have a dream and their dream is to establish an Islamic state.”
ISIS that has seized large parts of northern Iraq is, according to different estimates, between 7,000 to 10,000 fighters.
(ITN Reported 25 June 2014 ) – Gun-toting children paraded through the streets of Mosul in Iraq yesterday. An ITV News video shows an ISIS convoy travelling through the city, with the militants showing off the weapons and vehicle they seized as the Iraqi army fled.
The footage shows two small boys, one armed with an assault rifle, which has a telescopic sight attached. Humans Rights Watch says that in Syria, ISIS has already recruited young children as ‘snipers’ – this could be an indication that the Iraq conflict may see the same.
Extremist Islamist groups like ISIS are said to have targeted children for recruitment by providing military training in school settings through free schooling campaigns, that include weapons training and giving them dangerous tasks, including suicide bombing missions.
Human Rights Watch who have interviewed children who fought with groups such as the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front coalition and ISIS, says the militants have used children as young as 14 in support roles. Report by Claire Lomas.
HRW – The 31-page HRW report titled "Maybe We live and Maybe We Die" also documents the experiences of 25 children and former child soldiers in Syria’s armed conflict.
The rights group interviewed children who fought with the Free Syrian Army; the Islamic Front coalition; the extremist groups ISIS and al-Nusra Front; as well as the military and police forces in Kurdish-controlled areas.
Some of them fought in battles, acting as snipers, manning checkpoints, spying on hostile forces, treating the wounded on battlefields and ferrying ammunition and other supplies to front lines while fighting raged, our children die!